For the past three years, the same seven restaurants have held a virtual lock on the organization's coveted three-star rating: Daniel, Per Se, Masa, Le Bernardin, Eleven Madison Park, Jean Georges and Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare. But this year, only six maintained the honour for the guide's 10th edition, which goes on sale Wednesday. Daniel, Boulud's flagship Upper East Side restaurant, was bumped down to two stars.
"We obviously prefer to give stars than to take them away. Unfortunately, over numerous meals this year at Daniel he just wasn't firing on all cylinders to maintain a third star," Michael Ellis, director of the Michelin guides, said by telephone Tuesday. "There's not one thing that I could point out. There was just not that consistency over the meals."
Michelin guides, which cover 24 countries, are considered among the premier ratings of the restaurant world. Based on the experiences of anonymous inspectors, the guides award ratings of one, two or three stars using criteria including quality of ingredients, mastery of technique, how the chef's personality is expressed in the food, and consistency.
A total of 874 restaurants spanning 60 cuisines are included in the 2015 edition of the New York City guide; 73 of them got star ratings.
"We are, of course, disappointed to not receive three stars from Michelin, but two stars is still an honour," Boulud said via email. "Our team at Restaurant Daniel is committed to excellence, and we look forward to seeing Michelin again in 2015!"
Ellis said some of the most exciting cooking in New York is happening outside Manhattan. Twenty of the restaurants included in the guide added stars (including some that earned their first star). Of those, 11 were outside Manhattan, including eight in Brooklyn. "This shows the exciting, vibrant cooking scene that is in the outer boroughs," he said.
Brooklyn has a total of 10 starred restaurants, including several new additions: Mid-Atlantic American-inspired Delaware and Hudson; Polo Dobkin's Meadowsweet; Andy Ricker's Pok Pok Ny; Take Root; La Vera; and Lucksus at Torst. Queens has four: Casa Enrique, Danny Brown Wine Bar and Kitchen, M. Wells Steakhouse and Zabb Elee.
In addition to Daniel, the city has eight other two-star restaurants: Matthew Lightner's seasonally focused Atera; Soto, Sotohiro Kosugi's sushi bar; David Chang's tasting menu-driven Momofuku Ko; Marea, Michael White's ode to high-end Italian seafood; Jungsik, which features contemporary Korean cuisine by Jungsik Yim; Carlos Mirachi's Blanca; Emma Bengtsson's Nordic-inspired Aquavit; and Eiji Ichimura's sushi at Ichimura.
New York is one of three American cities that have Michelin guides to their restaurants. The others are Chicago and the San Francisco.